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Film Star Vanity Vans Useful For Mumbai Police

Bob Rupani  | Updated: July 09, 2020, 11:48 AM IST

All of us have experienced the agony and pain of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has spared nobody and has caused unimaginable havoc. Amidst all this gloom and despair, our "Covid Warriors" have done a splendid job despite huge challenges. The doctors, medical staff, police, and civic workers have all valiantly risen to the "Challenge of Covid". The police in particular, have been in the forefront of fighting a battle that they have never been trained for.

The vanity vans provided to the Mumbai Police have proved to be very useful

On 29th February, Param Bir Singh became the new Police Commissioner of Mumbai, and less than a month later, he was overseeing the largest lockdown in the history of mankind. Mumbai is one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the world, and enforcing a lockdown, while also maintaining peace and order, is truly a trial by fire. No other Police Commissioner has possibly ever faced such an extraordinary and testing situation before. And it is to the credit of Param Bir Singh and all his fellow police officers and constables, that the Mumbai Police has done this difficult task in such an appreciable manner.

The policemen have been able to heat their food and eat it in comfort

So many of them have been standing on the streets, through the day and also at night. They are not just exposed to the elements, but are also risking infection from the dreaded Coronavirus. Thousands of them have already been infected and about 50 Mumbai Police personnel have tragically lost their lives so far. Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has been leading from the front and visiting various police stations and other locations, to boost morale and inspire his team.

These vanity vans made for movie stars are equipped with a toilet, sofa, bed, microwave, fridge, TV and ac too

Amongst others, one of the things that have helped the Mumbai Police during this pandemic duty is the vanity vans they were provided with by Ketan Rawal, of Mumbadevi Vehicles. Normally he rents these vanity vans to film production units and they are used by Bollywood stars. Ketan Rawal says, "Few days after the lockdown was declared, I went out to check the condition of my vanity vans, which had been parked at different places in Mumbai.

The policewomen were particularly pleased that they had a clean and proper toilet to use

At that time I noticed that the Mumbai Police were out on the streets in large numbers and doing the bandobast duty in extremely hot and humid conditions. A lady police constable I spoke to said, that they were also getting dehydrated as they were not drinking enough water. They were doing this because with all restaurants, malls and offices shut, they could not access any toilets. They also had no place to rest. All this left me deeply disturbed. Soon after a NGO called Project Mumbai, contacted me for some help and asked if I could assist in setting up tents or shamianas, for use by the Mumbai Police. I immediately offered them use of my vanity vans that have facilities like toilet with shower and geyser, bed, sofa, fridge, microwave, a/c, TV, etc."

The vanity vans were like a home away from home for the police

From 12th April onwards, these vanity vans were deployed at seventeen different locations across Mumbai identified by Mumbai Police and Project Mumbai. They were even put at Covid hotspots like Dharavi, the BKC Covid Care Centre and strategic locations like the Worli Bandra Sea link, Mumbai Airport, and so on. Ketan Rawal provided these vanity or makeup vans, free of any charge and his drivers drove them to the selected spots. An attendant stayed with the vehicle and helped operate the facilities and top-up water, etc. Normally these vans get electricity from an external generator to operate the various appliances, but in this case, the police arranged for a 3-phase electrical line to be directly connected with the vehicle.

After spending hours out in the heat, the cool interiors provided a lot of respite

Rahul Bhosale, a police constable posted at BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex) told this writer, "These vanity vans have been extremely useful and helpful for us. We have been able to use a proper toilet, do regular sanitizing of our hands, heat our food in the microwave and eat on a table".

An assistant stayed with the van to ensure everything worked smoothly

Harish Ghoye, head constable at Dindoshi Police Station echoed these sentiments and was very grateful that they got to use these vanity vans. He said they had been like a 'home away from home' for many of them and he and his colleagues were very happy that after working so hard, they could rest for some time on a sofa or bed and also keep refreshments in the fridge. Several other police personnel have expressed their appreciation for getting to use these vanity vans, which are otherwise utilized by film actors and actresses. In fact one lady constable said using the van made her feel like a heroine! If truth be told, in this time of the "Covid Crisis", the Mumbai police have actually been like real-life heroes and have also succeeded in establishing a close bond with many citizens of Mumbai.

One policewoman felt like a heroine after using this film star van

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